May 21, 2013
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Where you see a pyramid, replace it with a plate. So goes the mantra of Cass Sunstein, author of Simpler: The Future of Government and President Obama’s former “Regulatory Czar." The “plate not pyramid” slogan advocated by Sunstein, who spent four years as the Administrator of the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, refers to the decision by the Obama administration in 2011 to get rid of the famous “food pyramid”—a tool published by the USDA in 1992 to help people make healthy eating choices—and replace it with the much more intuitive “food plate.”
Eliminating the food pyramid, which Sunstein called an “honorable effort to give people information about healthy eating” is an example of how we need to start making government simpler.
“'Plate not pyramid' organized a lot of my thinking in the federal government,” said Sunstein. “There are pyramids everywhere, meaning things that are complicated and hard to navigate.” Where you see pyramids, said Sunstein, “replace it with a plate.”
In talking with us on the Excellence in Government Podcast, Sunstein offered the following as rules for making government simpler:
Listen to the Excellence in Government Podcast for more of Sunstein’s thoughts on how government can be made “simpler."
Cass Sunstein's latest book is called "Simpler: The Future of Government."
May 21, 2013